Bento Box Dimensions

Welcome to our guide to bento box dimensions. We'll cover everything from the basics of bento box sizes to their historical evolution.

There's more to the topic than meets the eye, like key factors influencing their dimensions, and tips for selecting the right size for your needs. To finish off, we'll answer a few frequently asked questions and provide product suggestions, so that you have all the information you need to make your first purchase.

join us as we unpack the intricacies of bento box dimensions.

What this article covers:

Understanding Bento Box Dimensions: Bento Basics

Bento box dimensions are typically described by their capacity in milliliters (ml), rather than their physical size in centimeters or inches. Our research indicates that this is because, in Japan, the capacity of a bento box is directly correlated to the calorie content of the meal it is intended to hold.

For example, a 600ml bento box is designed to contain a 600-calorie meal. The box should accommodate a balance of grain, protein, and vegetable dishes in each meal.

If uncertain about your bento box dimensions, you can measure the capacity by filling the box with water and then measuring the volume of the water.

At Activated Eco, we offer a range of bento boxes that cater to different needs. For instance, our stainless steel bento box comes in two sizes. The regular size measures 17cm x 12cm x 9.1cm with a total capacity of 1340ml, split between a 540ml top half and an 800ml bottom half.

The large size measures 19.5cm x 14.5cm x 9.2cm, offering a total capacity of 1960ml, with the top half holding 760ml and the bottom half 1200ml.

dimensions of bento box

Selecting the Right Bento Lunch Box Based on Size

The dimensions you choose are influenced by the intended eater's age, dietary needs, and the type of meals being packed.

Are bento boxes healthy? They can be. Their contribution promotes improved portion control.

For children, smaller-sized containers are sufficient to meet their nutritional requirements. Teenagers, with their growing appetites, may need medium-sized bento boxes, while adults typically require larger sizes to accommodate higher-calorie meals.

That said, what goes in a bento box depends on personal preference.

For occasions like picnics where more food is needed, extra-large bento boxes are ideal. The basic range of bento box sizes varies from 250 ml to 2 liters, catering to different meal sizes and purposes.

With our largest option offering an accommodating 1960ml, our range is well-suited to your needs!

Number Of Compartments

The number of compartments in a bento box greatly enhances its functionality. Extra compartments allow for a variety of foods to be packed separately, preventing them from touching and mixing.

This variety encourages a balanced diet. For instance, different compartments can be used for fruits, vegetables, proteins, and grains, ensuring a well-rounded meal.

The compartmentalised design also eliminates the need for additional plastic wraps or bags, making bento boxes an environmentally friendly choice for meal packing.

Our Stainless Steel Bento Box with Silicone Seal is designed with 5 compartments, offering ample space. This bento box measures 255mm x 188mm x 50mm, making it a convenient size for a variety of meals. The silicone seal provides added assurance against leaks, keeping your meals fresh and intact.

History and Evolution of Bento Boxes

The bento box history can be traced back to the Kamakura Period in Japan. Initially, bento boxes were simple containers used for carrying meals during travel or work.

bento box dimension

Based on our observations, this period saw the use of leaves, wickerwork baskets, or furoshiki (wrapping fabrics) for packing meals, primarily consisting of dried white rice, millet, potatoes, or salted vegetables.

Over time, the size and complexity of bento boxes evolved significantly. During the Azuchi-Momoyama Period, bento boxes became more elaborate and were considered luxury items for the upper class.

These boxes were often made of wood and lacquered and included rice, fish or meat, and pickled or cooked vegetables.

In modern times, bento boxes have adapted to contemporary needs, with sizes and materials varying widely to suit different lifestyles. From traditional wooden boxes to today's steel options, bento boxes continue to be an integral part of meal culture.

Bento Box Care and Maintenance

Regular cleaning is crucial to prevent the buildup of bacteria and mold. After each use, it's important to thoroughly wash the bento box with soap and hot water, paying special attention to corners and crevices where food residues accumulate.

Allow the box to air dry before storing it in a dry, cool place.

To remove stubborn stains and odors, try using baking soda and vinegar. Mix equal parts baking soda and vinegar (1 tablespoon of each) in a cup of warm water. Then scrub away at the stubborn stains.

Our findings show that lemon juice can also be effective, being a natural bleach. Simply squirt some juice on the affected area and let it sit before rinsing.

dimension of bento box

At Activated Eco, we offer the Stainless Steel Single Layer Lunch Box, which exemplifies ease of maintenance and durability. This bento box is dishwasher safe, making cleaning hassle-free.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can the size of a bento box affect its functionality?

Absolutely. The size of a bento box can impact how much food it can hold and how it fits into a lunch bag or backpack. A bento box that is too small might not provide enough food, while one that is too large might be cumbersome to carry.

Can the size of a bento box affect meal variety and nutrition?

Yes, the size of a bento box can impact the variety and nutritional balance of a meal. Larger boxes allow for a greater variety of food items, which can contribute to a more balanced and nutritious meal. Smaller boxes may limit the number of different foods you can include, potentially affecting the meal's nutritional diversity.


By exploring bento box dimensions, we've seen how the size of a bento box is intrinsically linked to its capacity, influencing the quantity, variety, and nutritional value of the meals it holds.

From their historical roots in Japanese culture to the modern-day considerations for selecting the right size, bento boxes are suitable for various dietary needs and lifestyles, whether you're packing a lunch for a child or a feast for an adult.

At Activated Eco, we're proud to offer a range of bento boxes that align with these principles. Peruse our collection and find the bento box that resonates with your culinary preferences.

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